Erie County’s health department is joining the national “healthy homes” movement to help people stay safe where they live and rest. It is hosting a conference at Kalahari Waterpark and Resort on Jan. 21.
That conference is for local officials, but here are tips for everyone, from the health department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development:
• Keep your home dry. Prevent water from getting in. Check your roof and fix poor drainage and bad plumbing. Enjoy your shower, but don’t forget to run the fan.
• Keep your home clean. Control dust and keep surfaces cleanable by clearing away clutter. Use effective wet cleaning methods.
• Keep your home safe. Keep poisons away from children and pets, secure loose rugs that might slip on the floor and keep kids’ play areas free of hard or sharp surfaces. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure the batteries work. Keep a fire extinguisher in your home.
• Keep your home ventilated. Air out bathrooms, kitchens and your whole house, supplying fresh air to reduce contaminants.
• Keep it pest-free. Pests seek food, water and shelter. Seal cracks and openings, store food in sealed containers. Use sticky traps and baits and least-toxic pesticides such as boric acid powder.
• Keep it contaminant-free. Fix deteriorating paint to reduce lead risks. Test your home for radon, a dangerous, naturally-occurring gas. Take off your shoes at the door.
• Keep it well-maintained. Inspect, clean and repair your home routinely, fixing small problems before they become big ones.